Basic Educational Attainment in Egypt: Trends and Determinants

Ray Langsten, American University in Cairo
Tahra Hassan, American University in Cairo

Egypt has committed to providing “education for all” by the year 2015. We use data from the 1988 through 2005 Egypt Demographic and Health Surveys and the proximate determinants of educational attainment framework to assess the trend toward Universal Primary Education (UPE) and to examine in greater detail the determinants of attainment. Over the 17 years studied, the grade 5 completion rate, ever-enrollment, and retention of enrollees all increased. Increases were greatest among those most disadvantaged in 1988; the gender gap in education was markedly reduced. However the pattern of disadvantage is more complex than recent reports suggest. Detailed analysis of educational determinants shows that failure to enroll remains a serious problem for girls–particularly poor girls in rural upper-Egypt. On the other hand, for boys–particularly poor urban boys-dropout is the main obstacle to attaining basic education. Alternate theories for improving grade 5 completion are discussed.

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Presented in Poster Session 4